Semaj Christon scored 21 points and Justin Martin chipped in with 19 points and 16 boards as Xavier landed their biggest win of the season, knocking off No. 9 Creighton, 75-69, in the Cintas Center.
It’s hard to overstate just how important this win is to the Musketeers. They entered the night with an RPI in the mid-40s and an 8-7 record against the top 100 and left with their second win against a top 20 teams. They are now 10-6 in the Big East, and with two games left in the regular season — at Seton Hall and Villanova at home — Xavier should be in the tournament as long as they don’t lost both. Even then, the Musketeers still might be alright.
That’s what this win meant.
As far as Creighton is concerned, the loss hurts, but it doesn’t mean all that much. It could cost them the Big East regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament, but this won’t drop their tournament seed all that much and it shouldn’t hurt the national perception of the Bluejays. Xavier’s good, the Cintas Center is a tough place to play and Xavier got huge games out of Martin and Dee Davis.
Upsets happen, especially on the nights when Creighton shoots 10-for-34 from three. So this proves that a three-point shooting team will struggle on the nights those threes aren’t dropping. Shocking, right?
What’s more concerning is that Greg McDermott may have lost a key piece off the bench for the rest of the season.
Isaiah Zierdan is a freshman that averages 11.1 minutes and 3.3 points on the season, and while he has played some better basketball of late, his season is likely over after suffering a gruesome knee injury midway through the first half. He landed awkwardly, bending his right knee in the wrong direction.
Doug McDermott finished with 27 points and 10 boards in a losing effort.